In Five Element theory, each element is given a season: Winter is Water, Spring is Wood, Summer is Fire, Autumn is Metal, and Earth is Doyo. What is doyo exactly? It’s the “change of season”. Instead of the Earth element getting 12 weeks in a row, there are 4 doyo periods a year – 2-3 weeks around the equinox or solstices as the seasons shift. Earth is most frequently associated with the Doyo from Summer to Fall, particularly the sunny warm days that come back after the first cold snap, those autumn heat waves. In the 5 Element creation cycle, Fire moves to Earth which transforms to Metal, another reason this equinox in particular has the strongest Earth element connections.
So Autumn officially arrived on the calendar the week before last, the leaves are starting to turn bright yellow and orange, my skin has been drying out because I’m accidentally dehydrated – in the summer time it’s easy to always have a drink on hand, but lately I’ve found half the day has gone by and I feel terrible, all because I’ve not had enough water! The Metal season was on my mind, but then I had a surprise visitor on my deck.
One rainy morning, this adolescent bear showed up on my porch and discovered the snack machine known as my bird feeder. I snapped a few photos, then knocked on the glass and yelled while waving my arms to drive it away. The bear left, I cautiously retrieved my feeder, then while uploading the picture of my encounter on to the internet, the bear returned to gently lap up all the spilled seed on the deck! I watched him tidy up, then peacefully retreat.
Now is the time of year when young bears are going off from moms to forage alone, it’s the season to prep for hibernation and they want as many high calorie treats as possible – which included the peanut suet cake on my deck! This hunger and appetite represents the Stomach meridian of the Earth element. Summer’s end is frequently relaxing, lackadaisical even, we’ve finally unwound and refreshed ourselves (ideally) from soaking up those last languorous warm days. Then suddenly, the carnival of summer packs up and leaves town; chilly winds arrive and we’re back to our usual routines. We get hungry again – our schedules are busier, our brains doing more work, our metabolism working harder to keep us warm in the cooling weather. Earth meridians – Stomach and Spleen – are about appetite and digestion, time to move away from the cold, raw veggies of summer and into soups and stews. Our Spleen loves warm, cooked food, especially on a regular basis, so even if you’re not going back to school yourself, it wouldn’t hurt to take on the routines of youth again – the beginning of every season is an opportunity to renew, to start the cycle over with a clean slate and the wisdom to forgive and move forward.